It’s no easy matter to even attempt to succinctly recount the lives of the many and varied populations of the vast Eordän Realm, let alone the other eight realms of the Rykris. But as with any good tale, mine must start from the very best place one can possibly begin tell a story: the beginning. For those disinclined to even glance at the narrator’s rather pitifully organised, summarised information as collected from scrolls, songs, books, lore, Hasyor’s immensely helpful volume,* etc., they had better not even bother to read the narrator’s story on account of it, firstly, making a large bit of no sense without the preliminary, necessary context (as the narrator has taken a trip or two through many of the afore-mentioned lands) and, secondly, not holding much of nook or cranny in the knick-knack bookshelf of history. The information to be recounted after said prologue is really a bit of a setting for The Greatest Tale of all, and as we are all in some way a part of that one, perhaps these writings may be of some small contribution to our understanding of how The One – The Author – has blessed Eordä and other realms. This account, however, can but merely touch upon the other realms as the most knowledge of them is held by the Glimmdrad in lore and in speech, in tale and in song. Many ever ventured beyond Eordä in the ages of old, but fewer and fewer now so. The histories of these wondrous places are not unknown; yet as for many cherished folke-lore from those realms, their stories must be told from a more experienced librarian than the present narrator. For the benefit and convenience of all concerned, the narrator has provided a brief dictionary near the end of this particular account so as to clarify any conflastifuddled words.
~ Dmitri Scolét
Of the immortals, only One once lived – never with a beginning, never with an end. But into His wishes came a singular thought: to create beings formed with a reflection of His Image and to endue them with a part of Himself. But their time was not as of yet. From Him poured a swelling chorus of music, yet none sang except for Himself, and this only through His eyes, kindled with the Light of His Own Being. He communed within Himself, enthroned, a Spirit breathing Life, awesome to behold. From His lips leapt The Word of Life, and light suddenly enveloped an orb within His palm with astonishing rapidness. Thus became the first lore-song ever recorded among the lands. But in this aspect did the lore-song of Elohim,* who is known to the Glimmdrad* as Elonru, differ from those of those fair folk with kindled eyes, in that, when He spoke, Life became. When they spoke, they molded and shaped with The Life He had granted them. And after Ëyord’s* fall, their gift to meld their surroundings through song vanished, serving instead as a safe-guard of the memories they have held dearly. But no lore-songs remain from Ara,* save for one naming its rivers and the Tree, and that scroll is guarded, guarded quite closely, for it in lies the first telling of the Prophecy. Wherein that lore-song is kept is known by no man, and by few of even the Glimmdrad who may yet remain there.
Elonru gathered to Himself beings fashioned from the Song within Himself, spoken into His service by His Word, beings bound to the immaterial abode. The very fabric of their existence consisted in their service to His Glory, and therefore, they are called Nondori,* the messengers. Elonru spoke, and he fashioned suns and heavenly bodies while they looked on in awe, worshiping Him. He whispered into the cup of his hand and unfolded it to reveal the stars, and He hung them among the darkness. Nine realms did He create, and the names of them were Eordä, Menendrian, Varë, Aeldor, Sythroth, Ortari, Isien, Vélimgath, and Telehíl. These nine realms he suspended within three veils: the veil between the earth and sky where He sent forth the stars, His messengers; the veil that separated the realms; and the veil that separated His abode from that of His creation, yet through which He stepped to enter the realm beloved above the rest: Eordä. From the East he came, and He loved the stillness of the dawn, when he communed with what was soon to become the crowning glory of all that he had created.
Then He was quiet. A great stillness passed over the crowd of Nondori as if all were as one watching a single water droplet about to plunge from its sliding clutch on the precipice of time into the unknown. Elonru smiled and reached within the orb, withdrawing a mound of ebony granules – earth – and thus he fashioned the first being, the Glimmdrad elder, whom He called Ëyord. And the light of Elonru danced in the Glimmdrad’s eyes. For Ëyord, the Maker fashioned a wife, whom the man named Arlyn.* Faere was the woman, for she was created in wisdom and understanding, yet her face did in no wise sacrifice beauty for the knowledge she held. And Ëyord and Arlyn communed often with Elonru in Ara, and they walked betwixt and between the realms, passing through the third veil ere it severed and drew apart.
Yet even amidst the creation of the realms, a premonition of dread followed Elonru’s rest from his labor. As The One surveyed the Nondori, His heart grew heavy for the note of discord soon to mar the lore-song. It was not long ere the shadow burst from Shenov, the Nondor that heralded the songs worshiping Elonru. A harsh, bitter note began faintly, sounding a grating, repulsive thought that enviously assailed the choral lauding Elohim’s praises. The discord grew as Shenov hurled his defiance, seeping into the hearts of those who allied themselves with the infidel. And the blight upon the lore-song grew to a war. The Glimmdrad call it Velethir, the War of Beginnings, wherein Elohim and those remaining loyal to him cast out Shenov and the assailants. This, then, was Shenov’s fall, and his heart grew to be the very darkness he imagined. From thence on, the Glimmdrad nigh never call him by his former title but instead loathe him as merely ‘the accursed’ or ‘the fell one.’ But among the mortal lands he is despised and feared as Mirvoth.*
Followed are the explanation of terms heretofore mentioned within the first chapter:
Arlyn: the wife of Ëyord; the first woman to walk upon Eordä; a Glimmdrad.
Ara: the land specifically molded within Eordä by Elonru, where Ëyord abode before his fall from perfect fellowship with The One. The homeland of the Glimmdrad before Ëyord fell. Little is known of this land save for the river that flowed through it, dividing into four heads. Ara means dawn in the Glimmdrad tongue.
Elohim: The Creator of Eordä, The originator of all lore-songs, Sovereign Lord of the Nine Realms, often referred to as The One, Whom the Glimmdrad praise as Elonru. The Creator and Friend of Ëyord.
Ëyord: the first being to bear the Light of The One in his eyes, created by Elonru to walk upon Eordä and betwixt the Nine Realms ere the veil separating them was severed.
Glimmdrad: the fair folk of Errowith. Ancient lore-singers, largely unknown to other lands save for in myths and merchants’ tales. Of the lineage of Ëyord and his wife Arlyn.
Hasyor: a reference in particular to the volume of Sintharoth Hasyor, The Collected Tales and Records of the Glimmdrad, as passed down from a dweller among the fair folk. Hasyor was an inhabitant of Ordenhain. A maiden Glimmdrad of the name Silviel found his mother, Arelia, as a child among the scattered rubble of a charred village in the lowlands, the remains of Mirvoth’s destruction upon her homeland as the dark pall spread from the southern mires. Arelia thus was reared in many traditions of the Glimmdrad, though they refrained from revealing everything to her, a human, of their people’s ways and lore. She married a Glimmdrad, Londor; he was slayed in a skirmish with fell servants of the accursed, and Arelia fled to the mountains with her son. As a man, Hasyor recorded the things Arelia imparted to him of her knowledge when dwelling with the Glimmdrad, knowledge largely consisting of tried-and-true herbal remedies, vastly helpful charts of the night heavens so as to guide any careful traveler on his long journey, and tales of those Glimmdrad who were noble of heart. Hasyor himself knew a little of the Glimmdrad tongue, but none of his works recorded their language, and his volume fell into disuse as the Common Speech of the Third Age died away into its present form of the Sixth Age and the omniscient physicians of the townships and cities repudiated the use of primitive and therefore useless forms of ancient wisdom. The narrator has taken great pains to meticulously and accurately translate his copy of this invaluable volume.
Nondori: the immaterial, created beings who travel between the three veils and among the realms in the service of Elohim. Three hierarchies are according to their assigned duties: the vaeren, who surround the throne of Elohim in worship of Him; the nolvi, who are the messengers to the sons and daughters of Elonru; and the irruim, who are the warriors of the heavens.
Mirvoth: once known as shenov, now accursed as archenemy by Elonru and despised among the Glimmdrad; a subtle and cunning foe of darkness; the former herald who once worshipped Elonru ere the nondor rebelled in jealous pride against The Lord of the Nine Realms.